Ex-Im Bank Could Be Attached to Vote on Highway Bill

Thursday, July 9th, 2015 and is filed under Blog, Economy

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Recently, the Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im) was not reauthorized and expired for the time being. While the bank cannot make out new loans, it can still manage its existing loans and investments since it was funded by Congress through September.

Regardless of the fact that debate over the bank lead to the failure of reauthorization by Congress, supporters unfortunately have reasons to stay optimistic (reasons conservatives cannot put down the fighting gloves just yet).

Congress has less than three weeks before its recess at the end of July, and one, if not the most important item on the to do list is the passing of the Highway Bailout Bill that would fund the nation’s Highway Trust Fund for a couple of years in addition to pet projects and waste added on by Washington politicians. To give a little bit of background, the Highway Trust Fund is the method by which the federal government gives states funds to build and maintain roads, transportation, and infrastructure projects.

But before we get into the issues of the Ex-Im Bank, its important to recognize that the Highway Trust Fund is simply not the most efficient way of costing road maintenance and transportation improvements as a whole. States already control about 75% of the maintenance of highways and roads, and would most definitely do a better job at managing the costs than the federal government (they already do!). Efforts to push for more control by the states regarding road and transportation, such as Rep. Ron DeSantis’ introduction of the Transportation Empowerment Act are necessary to ensure that the federal government continues to receive money that the states could better manage.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has promised supporters of the bill the opportunity to vote on the measure within the month. A vote conducted a little ago showed that there are enough votes in the House to get it to pass. However, not as much is known about the Senate, and Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), another supporter of the Im-Ex Bank, is waiting to see what the Senate does about the matter (and most likely follow suit).

The issue with the Ex-Im Bank is more than just reauthorizing it. Fundamentally, all it has been doing is taking a great deal of government money and sending it to companies that simply don’t need the aid. To give some background, the Ex-Im Bank has been around for about eighty-one years and exists for the purpose of financing US firms in their attempts to connect with markets overseas. The bank, while claimed to help American businesses, only really helps large companies; in 2012, more than 80% of the bank’s assistance went to Boeing.

Opposers of both legislations that promote a disgusting and inefficient use of government money need to continue to fight against it and realize that the next month is crucial to the survival or defeat of the bank that sends unnecessary amounts of money to large companies that don’t need it. Conservatives need to stress the problems with the Ex-Im Bank and fight against the bad GOP leadership in Washington and continue to nail the coffin on Ex-Im. In other words, we need not allow supporters of the Ex-Im Bank to continue to try and attach theses provisions to other legislation to try and get their agendas in by force.

Same goes for the Highway Trust Fund: conservatives need to continue to fight to give more power to the states regarding things that the states have much better control over (in this case roads and transportation).

The Ex-Im Bank and the Highway Trust Find alike need to go, and those who want to continue to give big government, businesses, and corporations a break need to be silenced.